Chief Executive Newsletter Updates

The Farmers Club Newsletter – No. 11 –March 2021

After a week mostly away from my computer attending to a long list of DIY tasks awaiting me on the refrigerator door, it was good to catch up with developments at the Club! 
The team have done excellently in completing all their mandatory professional, on-line health & safety and first aid training at home. Angela, our Head Housekeeper has started to put in place the processes for cleaning of the Club prior to, and when, we are back in May. 
Following the report of the London Fire Brigade (LFB) into the Fire Safety elements within Whitehall Court, the company commissioned to implement a new fire alarm system have now almost completed their work, including the integration of our own wireless system onto the master alarm panel at the WHC Porters desk.  As some may know, our wireless system has been in place for some years and therefore the LFB report was not directed at the Club, but we obviously need to be integrated into the building system.
Now that we have a date for re-opening, Virginia has been putting together a Return to Work Plan including some Back to Work Briefing Days to enable the team to get back into the routine and to prepare the club before we open on 17th May at 3pm. This is important as we familiarise ourselves with elements of the Club, the building and getting used to being with our colleagues again.  Some of the team have not been in the Club for many, many months and as we found last time, returning to the daily commute is exhausting in itself. Saskia, HR Manager is also looking at Workplace Lateral Flow Testing and how that may help us return to work.
Members will recall that in order for them to utilise their memberships by extending Club facilities to their close family and friends who were not members, we introduced the concept of the Membership Bubble which was very well utilised when we were able to open last year.  That scheme is due to end on 31st March but please keep an eye on your inbox for an announcement on Monday regarding this scheme.
To assist with a more relaxed return, luggage, packing and travel arrangements and to make life just a bit easier, it has been decided that exceptionally, the dress code for the period of 17th May (re-opening) and 31st Aug (the month of August always has relaxed dress code), will be relaxed to smart casual clothing.  This is not to be seen as the ‘thin edge of the wedge’ or a ‘race to the bottom’ of sartorial elegance but a modest attempt to make life temporarily a bit easier during what will be a very transitory period as we return.  
Emily has been working really hard to put the finishing touches to some of our planned events for this yearThis has presented significant challenges in that as events become available in London, the demand for tickets is extremely fierce and most events are sold out within minutes of tickets being releasedAt the beginning of April, Emily will be launching the first club events that we have done for almost 7 months and includes a wide variety of London-based events but also includes some interesting trips to Surrey, Flower Shows, London Pageantry and includes the Chairman’s Tour in the Scottish borders around Kelso, so please keep a look out for those.
The external façade restoration/alterations to Whitehall Court are largely complete and the scaffolding to this elevation has been struck, with the remaining section to be removed by end of May 2021.  Scaffold erection to Horse Guards Avenue is now complete and stone cleaning and restoration works have commenced on this elevation.  Installation of new Portland Stone continues at roof level, and the internal fit out of the new 125 Bedroom Hotel is proceeding to plan along with the new spa.  Fit Out of the 85 New Residential Apartments is proceeding to plan with works commenced to circa 50 of the apartments.
Mechanical and Electrical Service installation works are ongoing within the new Plant Rooms at Basement levels and the installation of new Passenger and Goods Lifts across both the Residential and Hotel demises has started.

I have also mentioned previously, that a number of ‘lighting trials’ have taken place to ascertain the amounts of acceptable light that emanates from lighting the elevations of the OWO so that other residents in the area are not inconvenienced. These are still ongoing but I thought it might be interesting to see how the building that all of us have seen many times over, looks like when lit. So, works are definitely progressing well and I’m sure the owners will be keen to get this property open after a year of COVID delay.


We are all very excited in the knowledge that we will be soon able to welcome you back to your Club.  Bookings for bedrooms, The Restaurant, business and social functions, although not at usual levels, are increasing all the time. Remember the team can be reached via email to make your bookings.

We will be sending out further e-marketing to keep you as informed as we can, as quickly as we can so look out for those over the coming weeks. Not only will they inform you what delicious wine to buy but important club information and benefits that you are able to enjoy.

Virginia will also be re-issuing the safety COVID guidelines nearer the time of opening detailing what you can expect from the team and also what we have to insist on from our members in order to keep everyone as safe as we can and to maximise your enjoyment of the Club.

As ever, please keep safe and well.

Andrei Spence